Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 19, 2017 (SKNIS): Domestic tourism is being encouraged during this year’s Restaurant Week, says Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Carlene Henry Morton appearing on today’s (July 19) edition of “Working for You,” while noting that the country’s tourism product is not restricted to foreign clientele.
Mrs. Morton said that locals should get involved and enjoy their own products in order to promote not only the island, but its restaurants.
“We are supposed to be our own best ambassadors and you cannot encourage people to enjoy or participate in something that you yourself do not know anything about,” she said. “Once you have eaten at a particular establishment, you can say to persons on island, who are coming from somewhere else, when I go to X place, you are going to have a wonderful experience. The food is very well prepared, nicely presented and the ambience was great.”
It was mentioned that hardworking individuals should think of restaurant week as a way of rewarding themselves, while enjoying and learning about local cuisine.
“Look at the menu, you know restaurant week is coming up, put aside your little five dollars and give yourself a US $60 meal every now and again,” she said. “Now and again you would go by Ital Creations or where ever else you go. You have to love yourself to say, ‘listen I’m worth this’ or build it around some event that is coming up. For example, my grandmother’s birthday is coming up. So, all of us are going to pool our monies and go to X or Y place. It could also be an anniversary.”
Mrs. Morton said that Restaurant Week is an opportune time to bring persons together.
“A lot of reunions and family gatherings and happenings are happening around food,” she said. “Even when people die you hear at the end they went down by so and so. They went to eat and drink and reminisce and recall those pleasant memories they have about the deceased. So, a lot of positive things can happen around food.”
Milestones are being achieved around Restaurant Week, said Mrs. Morton, adding that the week can be a way to celebrate them.
“Maybe it’s not you yourself, but build it around a friends birthday, a christening or whatever it is, go on out and treat yourself,” said the permanent secretary.
Prices have been lowered because it is the slow season, explained Mrs. Morton. The prices will increase when the tourist season kicks in in October.
“I am encouraging everybody out there to find a spot with a price point where you can treat yourself and your family. You go out together and you enjoy. This isn’t something that you do every day; this may be once or twice in the year and you are taking advantage of the fact that it is Restaurant Week,” she said.
The permanent secretary emphasized that restaurant week is not just about the special ingredient, but it is about eating local.
“The focus is going to be on local food because even though the special ingredient two years ago was breadfruit and then the other one was pumpkin, we are encouraging restaurants to keep the menus from the previous years and just keep adding to them. We want people to have that local dining experience so that you can talk to persons when they come in about an authentic Kittitian meal. This is what you can expect.”